If Texas A&M superstar Johnny Manziel is selected in the opening round of May's NFL draft—a safe assumption—he'll be just the second first-round quarterback under six-feet tall since 1970, joining impending NFL free agent Michael Vick. Manziel, better known to some as "Johnny Football," was measured at just 5'11 3/4" at the NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday.
Vick, who is officially listed at exactly 6'0" but is actually a hair shorter, went first overall in the 2001 draft and has since dealt with a number of roadblocks, most of which had nothing to do with his height. Much like Vick, the 5'11 3/4" Manziel stands just a hair below the six-foot mark but hopes to use his running ability to make up for his lack of height.
Working in Johnny Football's favor are his hands, which were measured at 9 7/8", huge for a player under six-feet. Manziel's scouting combine weight (207 lbs) should also work to his advantage, as one of the most frequently voiced concerns regarding the quarterback is whether he'll be able to handle the physical beating that comes with life as a mobile NFL signal-caller.
Manziel's supporters will point to Seattle Seahawks quarterback and recent Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson, who came in at just 5'11", 204 pounds at the 2012 combine, but with gargantuan (10 1/4") hands.
Manziel was likely hoping to best the speedy Wilson's 2012 40-yard dash time of 4.55 seconds, but the Texas A&M product officially clocked in at 4.68 seconds, still an excellent mark for a quarterback. Given that his unofficial times were 4.56 and 4.63 seconds, Manziel will likely be targeting a time in the 4.5-4.55 range if he runs at the A&M pro day or his own individual workout.
All in all, it was a productive NFL Scouting Combine for Manziel, who seemingly cemented his status as a top-10 pick in May's draft.